Constitution: OHA Cronies Want to Run Their Own Prison System, Police, and Judiciary
Thousands Attend Franklin Graham Rally at the State Capitol
Who’s Running: Candidates Pulling Papers as of Feb 26, 2016
Hawaii Family Forum Legislative Week in Review
Hawaii CON Law Throttles Health Care Access
Doctors Want Nothing to do with ‘Medical’ Marijuana
HNN: Even though medical marijuana has been legal in Hawaii for 15 years, some (the vast majority of) doctors offered free training in the subject this week declined to attend ….
Wendy Gibson, who describes herself as the only (Yep. Just one.) nurse on Oahu trained in medical marijuana treatment, said for some medical professionals, there's a stigma to prescribing pot.
"Many physicians are hesitant to make the recommendations because of that. So it would be really helpful to have another class of health care professionals (we could call them ‘pushers’) who can make the recommendations," said Gibson, from the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii and the Medical Cannabis Coalition of Hawaii….
HTH: Bill would allow psychologists to prescribe (Marijuana and other) meds
read … Dope Docs Only
Hawaii gets federal help to expand Mental Health programs for homeless
AP: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that Hawaii was selected to participate in a special Medicaid program.
It will allow the state to help people continue participating in Medicaid programs geared toward mental health and substance abuse for a longer period of time.
Judy Mohr Peterson of the state Department of Human Services says those who improve during mental health and substance abuse programs may regress after those programs end.
The federal assistance will expand services available to Medicaid-eligible clients who are homeless. It also will give the state access to national experts to help implement programs like Housing First.
read … Hawaii gets federal help to expand programs for homeless
Seniors Fear Arrival of Property Tax Assessment
MN: My family and I live in Kuau, one of the most coveted areas of Maui. The property purchased by my late father, Antone F. Tavares, in 1903 has remained in our family's possession for 112 years. Each year we agonize in anticipation of the current property tax amount. This past year we saw an increase of 50 percent with the possibility of another steep increase this fiscal year.
I recently turned 94 and find it increasingly difficult to live under a property tax system that is as unfair, cruel, immoral and absolutely indefensible as Maui County's is. If I were younger you would see my righteous indignation made visible by public resistance to this abominable property tax system.
COMET (Committee for More Equitable Taxation) has proposed since 1988 that the Maui County Council undertake a thorough study of our present property tax system to no avail. This obstinate attitude was recently reaffirmed by the council chairman, who stated the council would not review its gutting of the "circuit breaker" tax credit or study the present system.
An earlier council recognized the need for a comprehensive study. For those who do not remember, COMET worked constructively with the council to enact the "homeowner's exemption" and "circuit breaker" in 1991. Those were implemented as short-term solutions. The "short-term solutions" have been in place for nearly 25 years. Broken promises.
read … County Council continues to avoid a comprehensive property-tax study
Self-Satisfied: Hawaii Co Council to discuss measure that would increase term from 2 years to 4
HTH: Eight is apparently not enough for Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who is proposing a charter amendment to increase council members’ terms to three consecutive four-year stints.
Council members currently are limited to four two-year terms before they have to sit out at least a term. Voters adopted the eight-year limit in 1996.
Wille’s Bill 154 is scheduled to be heard by the County Council Finance Committee at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Hilo council chambers. The public can also testify by videoconference from the West Hawaii Civic Center, Waimea council office, King Kamehameha Park conference room in Kapaau, the Naalehu state office building or the Pahoa neighborhood facility.
If the bill passes, it would place the question on the ballot for voters to decide in the Nov. 8 general election.
read … Self-Satisfied
Traffic relief in Nanakuli in the works Thanks to Rep Andria Tupola
KITV: State officials say an estimated 50,000 cars per day use Farrington Highway, up about 20,000 from the year 2000. More cars, same road.
"The increase in cars and the increase in population are occurring without development. It's something that hasn't been taken care of for a while, so we're putting more resources into it to address it now," said Ed Sniffen, HDOT Highways Division.
The Nanakuli contraflow project will create a third lane of travel for westbound drivers on Farrington Highway from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. The mile-long contraflow lane will begin at Piliokahi Avenue and continue past Helelua Street.
"It will change one of the eastbound lanes into a westbound lane during the p.m. peak condition," said Sniffen.
read … Contra flow
Lawmakers Livid at Soft on Crime Sentence for Thieving Principal
KITV: State lawmakers were livid to learn Judge Glenn Kim sentenced Piontek to probation and restitution of $200 a month.
"Not only is there no prison time, but even the restitution of $200 a month is just ridiculous. If you are not going to make him go to prison at least force him to work and pay $500 to $1000 a month," said Sen. Will Espero.
The charter school is in Senator Michelle Kidani's district and the sentence is a deep disappointment since she's the chair of the Senate's education committee.
"If he is truly remorseful that he will take it upon himself to pay more so that he can pay this off within ten years and give it back to the state, so it goes back to the children," said Kidani.
The Hawaii Technology Academy said its school and staff are still suffering from Piontek's crime.
In a court filing, the school said: "The financial effects of his criminal arts are still being shouldered by the current students attending the school."
The Attorney General's office said the criminal court has jurisdiction over Piontek for four years.
If he fails to pay the $200 a month, he could then face the jail term.
Cook says after four years, the state could file a civil suit to recover the rest of the money he stole from the school.
read … Livid